Addressing Chronic Conditions Through Community Partnerships: A Formative Evaluation of "Taking on Diabetes"




Palsbo, Susan E.
Kroll, Thilo
McNeil, Melissa

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The Commonwealth Fund


Community partnerships—coalitions of health plans, physicians, and local groups—can help overcome organizational boundaries and allow competing parties to work together to focus on a shared goal, like the treatment of a chronic condition. In this study, researchers evaluated three community partnership projects sponsored by a national trade association of health plans. These initiatives, focused on quality mprovement in diabetes care, were located in three very different markets in the United States: Albuquerque, New Mexico; Kansas City, Missouri; and Westchester County, New York. Successful community partnerships, the researchers found, can be formed from different starting points and by following different paths. Instead of following a strict set of protocols, the researchers uggest that these groups pay careful attention to principles of group dynamic theory. In addition, a neutral facilitator, like a trade association, can build bridges and help competing concerns be less proprietary.


Additional copies of this (#766) and other Commonwealth Fund publications are available online at


Diabetes, Quality improvement, Group dynamics